WARNING: May contain opinions
Occupy Sydney has been present in Martin Place almost
continuously since 15 October 2011. A crucial part of the occupation
is open public discussion of issues concerning humanity and the planet. Some of these discussions are organised into a ‘Free School’, held on most Saturday afternoons.
Free School is:
A space for honest, frank and respectful discussion and the
building of solidarity amongst participants
Open for everyone to present or join sessions and workshops
A collective way to address questions about Occupy Sydney's
directions and purposes
An approach to building the movement and keeping it
relevant and sustainable
An occasion to discuss how we relate to existing movements,
groups and struggles
A place of learning about practical skills and interests helpful
to Occupy participants
An opportunity for enjoyable group conversations and fun in
If you have an idea for a workshop, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you could send us a short description and your preferred Saturday and session time (either 1.30 - 2.30, 2.45 - 3.45 or 4 - 5) that would be great! People are also very welcome to come along to Free School on the day and announce workshops and put them on. If you want support in running a workshop, please get in touch with the Free School working group and we'd love to help you out.
Confirmed sessions for January 21st so far:
What's the story with changes to welfare in Australia? With Annette Maguire.
Contagious Strikes: Talk on workers' struggles in China. With Ralf from Wildcat (a radical German journal)
Workshop on public sector workers' cuts. With Lindsay Hawkins
Borders and Occupy. With activists from the Refugee Action Coalition and the Cross-Border Collective.
Gender and Feminism in Occupy Sydney. With activists from Occupy Sydney.
The legend that is Occu-pony! How to make your own cardboard horse.
More sessions to come!
Some workshop descriptions:
What’s the story with the changes to welfare in 2012?
Recently the Gillard government made massive changes to the provision of welfare in Australia. This will make life much harder for people on Centrelink benefits and increase the power of the state to interfere in the details of peoples’ lives. In 2012, the BasicsCard (a despised component of the NT Intervention), is being rolled out to unemployed people across the country. But this is part of a bigger overhaul that also imposes heavy punishments for so-called “breaches”, including payments being cut-off. Come to this workshop to get the lowdown on the changes, and discuss perspectives for action. Why is this happening, when unemployment is low? How do these changes attack the conditions and dignity of Centrelink recipients, and the rest of us more broadly? How are people resisting, how can we resist?
Talk on workers' struggles in China
In mid-2010 a strike wave rolled through China's factories, the most widespread and militant struggle of China's internal migrant workers so far. The struggle shook the Chinese regime and provoked a world-wide debate: Is this the beginning of the end of the low-wage-model that stands behind China's rise to the "factory of the world" and provides the rest of the world with cheap consumer products? The workers' strikes continued in 2011, and together with riots and peasant uprisings they are indicators for the increasing pressure for social change in China.
This talk will focus on the social conditions behind the strikes, the formation of a new working class movement in China, and the implications for social struggles around the world.
More descriptions will be posted to this page shortly!
The legend that is Occupony
Facilitators Jerome / Vicki
Practical workshop showing you how to create your own see through trojan horse, made occufamous by the one and only Occupony, the giant creation who charged the RBA, spent time in an art gallery and was back at MP for NYE. Anyone keen for this workshop please bring a roll or two of tape or two!
Annette, Thanks for the link to assemblyfordignity.wordpress.com. It is now added to the Occupy Content Management System (OCMS), which can be found at occupytheuniverse.net.
Please note any relevant Occupy material can be added from the homepage. Looking forward to more contributions.